Academics, Education

Distance Education Evolution

distance education

We all know about distance education, right! Due to globalization, education no more limited to any specific locality, state, and country. Even student can take their education from home from various online programs. In case, you need any essay writing help or assignment writing service, you can contact us. To curate more insight into distance learning, let’s start discussing this:

An Overview

In distance education or distance learning or correspondence course. This is a system of education in which the students don’t have to sit in a traditional classroom. Additionally, they don’t need to be taught by the faculties. Teachers also don’t need to present physically in this system. Distance does not matter in distance learning. Communication is really very easy between the students and teachers through various mediums. They can communicate via physical mail, email, social media, video, and voice conferences. Also, with written chat, and discussion forums available on the internet. If we talk about the 17th or 18th century when this program was invented. It was practiced through a method called correspondence. In this method, the instructor uses to send instructions via mail. Afterward, students respond with the assignments and other completed tasks.

This was a lengthy as well as a time taking process. It may take several weeks to complete. But then also in spite of having drawbacks correspondence course grew fastly. As tedious and useless as this form of learning might seem under today’s standards, students were so compelled to learn that they did not mind the delay.

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Evolve of distance education:

Yet distance education seems an idea that is very topical, but this system of education has been dominating among the students around for the last three decades. Nearly in the middle of the nineteenth century, the idea of distance learning began to extend as postal mail services developed. If you turn around history, Sir Isaac Pitman is the first person who was a shorthand writing teacher from Bath, England, valued the system of distance education.

As time went on technologies played an important role in distance education.  Radio was introduced to the universities. Universities used it as a medium to tell about course information to the students. In 1922, “Pennsylvania State College became the first college to broadcast courses across radio networks.” About a decade later, the University of Iowa followed suit, becoming the “first university to employ television as a learning tool” (aka Distance Learning). The University of South Africa, today is known as one of the world’s open distance learning mega colleges, as it became a champion and innovator of distance learning since reshaping its mission in 1946. An article by Forbes in 1956 said that “Chicago public television station WTTW, in partnership with the local Board of Education, televises college courses for credit; over 15,000 students enroll in 5 years.

It might be hard to believe, but credible degrees were attainable through these televised courses. This made it easy for housewives to study at home.

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The scenario of distance education today

Initially, distance learning was dependent on exams only, but now the scenario has been changed. Today mostly it takes place with the help of the internet. The internet has built the medium of communication which is quite faster, easier, and more efficient. This is the reason why it has been called the medium. People for distance education programs now rely on the internet rather than going to universities to complete the formality. Whereas physical mail took many days to arrive at the recipient, but now everything can be sent as a soft copy, for example, forms, receipts, and course materials can be sent via email in seconds. Traditional postal mail was really very difficult and time-consuming to send than email because it needed a person especially to go to the post office. Also, if you want to pay someone to take your online class you can do that.

During the pandemic time from being a choice, distance education became a necessity for everyone. Almost in every country school got shut down and teachers were asked to teach from home. Due to the threat of the pandemic, most of the students wish to study from home. It has also become easy for them to manage everything. And also, now it is easy and very convenient to send an email and post things on social media or online forums, as this can be done from the desk of someone. Also, it is possible that voice and video conferencing, which students can listen to lectures live, and can ask their queries to teachers instantly. So we can say the internet has made distance learning more efficient and convenient. Student can organize their own schedule according to their time and comfort.

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Drawbacks of distance learning:

After knowing so many merit points of distance learning, don’t get shocked that it has some drawbacks too. They miss traditional classroom charms. For example: Firstly, the face-to-face interaction which students can have with their faculties and fellow students in a classroom cannot replaceable by video conferences or podcasts. Secondly, there is always a possibility of bad network problems with an internet connection which may create a barrier in studying while it is really important (like exam time). Also, sometimes there might be a chance that a person loses the deadline date track. You always need to keep yourself updated and motivated to keep everything on track. With this, you will lose your networking power. You will meet fewer people and will not be able to build a strong network.

Still, it becomes the trend as people have no time to invest roughly.

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